Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pagans - Everybody Hates You

Today's selection was born out of the same scene that produced the Dead Boys, the Electric Eels, and Pere Ubu, although it's far closer to the former two in sound and intent. Every bit as young, loud, and snotty as the Dead Boys, and maybe a little bit more, the Pagans wrote quick blasts of catchy garage rock inspired Midwest punk, full of desperation, alienation, nihilism, and self deprecating humor. This compilation collects thirty of their best tracks, from self penned classics like "What's This Shit Called Love?" and "Street Where Nobody Lives" to covers of 60's classics by the Rollings Stones, The Who, and the Nightcrawlers. The sound quality varies from track to track, ranging from abysmal to serviceable, but for the most part, the songwriting is pretty consistent. Most of the subject matter is bleak ("Dead End America," "Give Up"), offensive (fag-bashing "Six And Change"), and juvenile ("She's A Cadaver (And I Gotta Have Her"), but they don't take themselves too seriously, and neither should you. "Boy Can I Dance Good," supposedly a cover of some long lost Cleveland garage rock gem, sums up all their strengths, equal parts genuine angst and stupid fun, with lyrics like the slyly delivered "Got psychological problems, my parents are to blame" and "You told me I was a waste and I'd be better off dead" giving voice to generations of frustrated teenagers faced with the prospect of "no future". If you've never been able to relate to that, this probably isn't for you, but for the rest of us, these songs are the perfect soundtrack to another wasted night drinking PBR.


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